the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Mar-13 today archive


  1. Death Metal Music Inspires Joy Not Violence, Study Finds
  2. New Mexico the Most Coal-Heavy State To Pledge 100 Percent Carbon-Free Energy By 2045
  3. Boeing 737 Max Jets Grounded By FAA Emergency Order
  4. Amazon Lobbied More Government Entities Than Any Other Public US Company Last Year
  5. Two-Thirds of Android Antivirus Apps Are Total BS
  6. Vizio Wants Next-Generation Smart TVs To Target Ads To Households
  7. Google Builds Circuit to Solve One of Quantum Computing's Biggest Problems
  8. North Korea Advertises Military Hardware On Twitter and YouTube, Defying Sanctions
  9. Google Hardware Makes Cuts To Laptop and Tablet Development, Cancels Products
  10. Verizon Says 5G Network Will Cost Extra $10 a Month
  11. IBM, and Some Other Companies Did Not Inform People When Using Their Photos From Flickr To Train Facial Recognition Systems
  12. Google Launches Android Q Beta 1
  13. Twitter Teases Hiding 'Likes' and 'Retweets' Counts, Color-Coded Replies in Biggest Set of Changes To Its Social Media Service Since it Launched in 2006
  14. America's Latest Effort To Thwart the Growth of China's Huawei is Playing Out Beneath the World's Oceans
  15. Facebook is Down
  16. Tim Berners-Lee Talks About India's Recent Push To Data Localization, Proposed Compromise of End-to-End Encryption, and Frequent Internet Shutdowns
  17. HP Recalls More Laptops For 'Fire and Burn Hazards'
  18. Google Quietly Adds DuckDuckGo as a Search Engine Option for Chrome Users in About 60 Markets
  19. Microsoft Now Lets You Stream PC Games To an Xbox One and Use a Controller
  20. Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple With the European Commission Over 30% Tax and Restrictive Rules
  21. Alphabet's AI-Powered Chrome Extension Hides Toxic Comments
  22. Scientists Reawaken Cells From a 28,000-Year-Old Mammoth
  23. Radioactive Particles From Huge Solar Storm Found In Greenland

Alterslash picks the best 5 comments from each of the day’s Slashdot stories, and presents them on a single page for easy reading.

Death Metal Music Inspires Joy Not Violence, Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: I've had one desire since I was born; to see my body ripped and torn. The lyrics of death metal band Bloodbath's cannibalism-themed track, Eaten, do not leave much to the imagination. But neither this song -- nor the gruesome lyrics of others of the genre -- inspire violence. That is the conclusion of Macquarie University's music lab, which used the track in a psychological test. It revealed that death metal fans are not "desensitized" to violent imagery. The findings are published in the Royal Society journal Open Science. How do scientists test people's sensitivity to violence? With a classic psychological experiment that probes people's subconscious responses; and by recruiting death metal fans to take part. The test involved asking 32 fans and 48 non-fans listen to death metal or to pop whilst looking at some pretty unpleasant images.

Lead researcher Yanan Sun explained that the aim of the experiment was to measure how much participants' brains noticed violent scenes, and to compare how their sensitivity was affected by the musical accompaniment. To test the impact of different types of music, they also used a track they deemed to be the opposite of Eaten. "We used 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams as a [comparison]," said Dr Sun. Each participant was played Happy or Eaten through headphones, while they were shown a pair of images -- one to each eye. One image showed a violent scene, such as someone being attacked in a street. The other showed something innocuous -- a group of people walking down that same street, for example. "If fans of violent music were desensitized to violence, which is what a lot of parent groups, religious groups and censorship boards are worried about, then they wouldn't show this same bias. "But the fans showed the very same bias towards processing these violent images as those who were not fans of this music."


By Darkling-MHCN • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The joy of violence!

Yes Humans Love Violence

By wolfheart111 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Its in our Nature, We are all natural born killers in some respect.

Re:"The test involved asking 32 fans and 48 non-fa

By hey! • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You're a complete fraud if you think 80 models millions in a psychological human-reaction experimentation.

Minimum sample size doesn't increase linearly with population size; it asymptotically approaches a fixed value. So what you do is assume the population is arbitrarily large and size your sample accordingly. Yes, for very small populations, say hundreds, you could get away with smaller samples. But the sample size you need for a population of a million and a hundred billion aren't different at all.

The minimum sample size is *extremely* sensitive to effect size. So what you do is look up the minimum size in a table indexed by the smallest effect size you want to detect. Even if the population of the Earth has doubled since the time the table was published, the numbers are still good.

Re:"The test involved asking 32 fans and 48 non-fa

By hazardPPP • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

For this reason most well-designed social science experiments have moderate sample sizes. Experiments with a moderate number of subjects are affordable, practical, and are biased to false negatives; that means you are less likely to get statistically significant but practically insignificant results. Typical sample sizes (when they can be gotten) are in the 20-50 range. 80 is on the high end, but a *negative* result from a largish sample size is actually pretty robust. Either the differences between fans is non-existent, or it's very small, which is practically speaking the same thing.

Most social science experiments, well actually probably the overwhelming majority, are not well-designed. Have you heard of the replication crisis?

The problem is that most social scientists do not understand mathematics, let alone statistics (a complicated subject with many caveats and nuances) very well. They rote-learn the equations and methods without fully understanding them (or understanding them at all) - I've seen in this practice.

Therefore, whenever you see a study with a sample of 80 (or a few hundred) claiming this or that, the default reaction should be extreme doubt in the results.

Slayer and Megadeth!!!!

By turp182 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I've been listening to 1990s Slayer and Megadeth lately, and it not only takes me back to another time but it's really good music. Dave Mustain is awesome on guitar and Slayer's drummer is a freak of nature (I can hardly tap multiple fingers to some of his rolls). The lyrics are funny as well ("growing madness as my mind dissolves").

Good stuff. I don't like their more recent stuff though. Biased due to original listening period.

On and on south of heaven!

New Mexico the Most Coal-Heavy State To Pledge 100 Percent Carbon-Free Energy By 2045

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New Mexico's state House of Representatives passed the " Energy Transition Act" on Tuesday, where it's expected to be signed quickly by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. The bill " commits the state to getting 100 percent of its energy from carbon-free sources by 2045," reports Ars Technica. From the report: The bill includes interim goals mandating that 50 percent of the state's energy mix be renewable by 2030 and 80 percent of the energy mix be renewable by 2040. The state currently buys no nuclear power, which is not renewable but qualifies as a zero-carbon energy source. The bill passed yesterday does not require that 100 percent of the state's energy be renewable by 2045; it just specifies that no electricity come from a carbon-emitting source.

New Mexico is unique among these states because it is a relatively coal-heavy state, generating 1.5 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity as of November 2018. Last month, the state's Public Service Company of New Mexico had slated its 847MW San Juan coal plant for shut down by 2022, but a New York hedge fund called Acme Equities swooped in with an offer to buy the 46-year-old plant. According to Power Magazine, Acme intends to retrofit the plant with carbon capture and sequestration technology. If the deal goes through, Acme would use the captured carbon in enhanced oil recovery, where carbon is forced into older or weak oil wells to improve the pressure of the well and extract more oil. But with the passage of this bill, Acme's offer may not stand. New Mexico In Depth writes that the bill puts "$30 million toward the clean-up of the [San Juan] coal-fired power plant and the mine that supplies it and $40 million toward economic diversification efforts in that corner of the state and support for affected power plant employees and miners."

Re:Will it be enough to help the Native Americans?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

will that really be enough to help them Native American communities that suffer from coal plant shutdowns?

Does this new law even apply to the Navaho coal plants? States usually have no jurisdiction on Indian land.

Re:They are making things worse

By Gnostic Teflon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Anyone who has driven across New Mexico in an East-West direction would notice that there are persistent strong winds that blow through the state's prairies and passes. New Mexico is the home of a lot of Department of Energy talent who I am sure have also noticed this. With the ever-decreasing costs of building giant wind turbines, the only major challenge is to develop a smart electrical grid to efficiently deliver and store the fluctuating surplus energy to provide a 24/7 smooth supply. Photovoltaic electricity, which is also getting cheaper than carbon, is also a major positive consideration for a state that has an abundance of sunshine.

Re:They are making things worse

By Darinbob • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Almost the entirety of coal mined in New Mexico is exported to other states and countries. New Mexico does not need coal for energy, what it is losing by getting rid of coal are royalties given to the state. Now it may be argued whether giving up the royalties is good or bad, but that's a better argument than lying about skyrocketing energy costs.

Should be doable. Go Nuclear!

By kenwd0elq • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Two, perhaps 3 nuclear power plants should be able to replace their coal fired plants. Coal and oil are going to be too valuable as feedstocks for chemical processes to just burn the stuff.

Greenie pipe dream

By bradley13 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I used to live in New Mexico. Lovely place, but not terribly wealthy, which makes me wonder when I see legislation like this. If you read it, much of the legislation is about handing out money to various parties: incentives, but also reparations to plants and workers that will have to close. Bet: these handouts will be exploited to suck on the public teat.

That aside, here's the core message:

"...'renewable energy resource' means electric or useful thermal energy:

  • solar, wind and geothermal
  • hydropower
  • fuel cells that do not use fossil fuels to create electricity
  • biomass resource [n.b. this includes timber up to 8 inches in diameter]
  • landfill gas and anaerobically digested waste biomass

...does not include electric energy generated by use of fossil fuel or nuclear energy"

So it's the usual greenie idiocy: spend other people's money on a pipe dream. Solar, of course, would be great in the high desert - except for the minor little problem that the sun doesn't shine at night. None of the named technologies can possibly produce enough power 24/7, except possibly razing and burning the forests.

They could take a lesson from parts of Australia or Germany that have already made the same damned mistake: They wind up giving their solar power away, when they have too much of it. At night, or when it's cloudy, they have to import power, sometimes at outrageous prices.

Boeing 737 Max Jets Grounded By FAA Emergency Order

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
President Trump announced an emergency order from the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday grounding Boeing 737 Max jets in the wake of an Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday and a Lion Air accident in October that together killed 346 people. The emergency order comes two days after the FAA said the Boeing 737 Max planes are still airworthy. NBC News reports: Trump's announcement came as the FAA faced mounting pressure from aviation advocates and others to ban flights of the planes pending the completion of investigations into the deadly accidents. Sunday's crash killed 157 people and the one in Indonesia in October left 189 dead. "We're going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9 and planes associated with that line," Trump announced, referring to "new information and physical evidence that we've received" in addition to some complaints.

The FAA said it decided to ground the jets after it found that the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft that crashed had a flight pattern very similar to the Lion Air flight. "It became clear that the track of the Ethiopian flight behaved very similarly to the Lion Air flight," said Steven Gottlieb, deputy director of accident investigations for the FAA. United States airports and airlines reacted to the order Wednesday, acknowledging that it will lead to canceled flights. American has roughly 85 flights a day on the Boeing Max 8 and Max 9 jets. United Airlines has about 40 such flights. Southwest Airlines has the most, about 150 flights per day on these types of jets out of the airline's total of about 4,100 flights daily.

Re: c6gummer knows nothing about this, liar caught

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Dual systems are standard on aircraft which detect AOA (not all do). It should be obvious to anyone but you that a dual system is redundant, but that the redundancy cannot be automated. If one sensor is giving bad data there's no way of automatically detecting which one is right and which one is wrong. Therefore the computer has to either make a best-guess, or it has to default to a single channel. This, again, is the same on all aircraft which have AOA sensors.

I would argue that either the pilot can recognize whether the plane is about to stall and ignore the AOA sensor entirely, in which case both sensors are non-essential, or the pilot can't, in which case the pilot also can't reliably determine which sensor is wrong. More importantly, if the pilot can, then the avionics systems should be able to do so as well. And if not, then that single backup is only useful when the sensor fails outright (e.g. no output, wiring fault, etc.).

And in this case, because the plane makes critical decisions that impact the airworthiness of the aircraft in response to that data and apparently cannot determine which AOA sensor is lying, having only two AOA sensors just means that the risk of the entire system failing because of incorrect data is twice as high as if it had only one AOA sensor. Assuming it is practical to fly the plane with both stall warnings and MCAS disabled, then everyone would arguably be better off if the aircraft had only a single AOA sensor, statistically speaking. If that were the case, we'd have probably had only one crash in the first two years, instead of two (not that such numbers would be good, mind you, just less appalling).

IMO, having too little redundancy can actually be worse than not having any at all. It seems likely that this aircraft, as designed, cannot be made safe unless Boeing adds either a second pair of independent AOA sensors or a couple of Pitot tubes as backups for resolving disagreements. Two sensors clearly isn't enough, given their apparent propensity for failure at low altitudes.

Re: FAA certified an *UNSAFE* plane !

By saloomy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

No people under the jurisdiction of the FAA have died in those two crashes. Incase you are unaware, the FAA is an American agency, and only has control over US skies, and US bound flights.

The FAA pays attention to world wide flight data and bases some decisions on what it sees there. The Lion and Ethiopian crashes we're under the jurisdiction of the counties in which they originated from and crashed.

Similarly, China has its own agency too, and that agency grounded the planes well in advance of when the FAA did.

Wrongway Orangefuzz

By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Do you guys know who the director of the Federal Aviation Authority is right now? Nobody does, because Trump has never gotten around to appointing one. To be fair, he's been very busy with the golf co-championship and everything, and it probably just slipped his mind.

Nothing matters any more.

Re: There's only 376 built

By _merlin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Which Egypt Air flight would that be? The incidents involve Lion (Singapore) and Ethiopian (Ethiopia). You don't even have the airline straight. Switching to manual trim control won't work - pressing the trim control button on the yoke will override the MCAS for five seconds before it will re-engage. You need to actually hit the MCAS disable switch on the centre console to stop it. If your training hasn't covered the MCAS properly, you very likely won't make the mental connection to realise this is what you need to do. The Ethiopian crash happened after six minutes in the air. Given the MCAS won't engage until flaps are raised, and optimistically assuming they raised flaps after two minutes airborne, that gives them four minutes maximum to have worked out what was going on and fix it. Evidently it wasn't enough.

Re: Millenialism hits Boeing

By dunkelfalke • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

MCAS has only a limited authority - only up to 2.5 degrees if I remember correctly. And as for the switch, it actually is present on the 737 NG since it doesn't switch off (just) the MCAS, it completely switches off electrical trim assist.

See that stab trim panel? That's the one. It is actually already present in the 737 classic. Even the original 737-100 from 1967 have that two switches at the same place, but the stab trim panel looks a bit different and is much narrower because it came directly from the 707 (where it also was at the same place).

Amazon Lobbied More Government Entities Than Any Other Public US Company Last Year

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon lobbied more government entities last year than any other public U.S. company, covering issues like healthcare, transportation, defense, and labor regulation. "Across 2018, Amazon contacted 40 different federal entities on 21 different general issue areas," reports Fortune, citing a report from Axios. "The only tech giant to lobby on more issues than Amazon was Google's Alphabet." From the report: In terms of money spent, Amazon's $14.4 million is topped only by Alphabet's $21 million, says Bloomberg. While the tech industry overall spent less than half of the $280 million from pharmaceutical and healthcare products companies in Washington, Amazon has increased spending 460% since 2012, growing quickly within its trade. According to Axios, Amazon lobbied on self-driving car and drone issues, hinting at new methods of delivery. It supported a law allowing pharmacists to tell patients when using their insurance is actually more expensive, aiding Amazon's new investment in PillPack. It also covered the labeling of bioengineered food and a pilot program allowing online shoppers to use the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program -- signs of Amazon's emerging grocery business.

Legalized bribery

By Tablizer • Score: 3 • Thread

Shame on you, GOP judges.

Tech learns from its mistakes.

By SvnLyrBrto • Score: 3 • Thread

Tech companies engaged in hardly any lobbying back in the '90s during that tech boom. And we got screwed because of it. Established industry players, with long histories of LOTS of lobbying bought laws like the DMCA, for example. How many tech companies were wiped out by that one abuse alone? I had friends at Napster, and at two other Napster-like companies, that were put out of work by the RIAA/Metallica lobby. And the demise of one of the companies I worked for was hastened by being forced to waste engineering time and effort, and waste money to bring a lawyer onto the payroll; to deal with DMCA BS. And some of you will recall that 2001 was a BAD time for your employer to be going under.

And that's just one of a number of laws that those entrenched interests bought that have adversely... sometimes grievously... affected tech. Yeah, it's a dirty game and it would be nice for it to go away entirely. But as long as scum like the RIAA/Metallica play it; tech really has no choice now. Bringing a knife to a gun fight seldom works out.

Healthcare Lobbying & Socialised Healthcare

By labnet • Score: 3 • Thread

What do USA /.'s think of socialised medicine?
Every other developed western country has a public health care system that will fix most issues for free, (chronic issues with a wait), and overlay that with a private system secondary to the public system.

You pay twice as much as everyone else for health care. People are regularly bankrupted. You still have major out of pocket expenses.
So do you think the USA needs tax funded public primary health care?
And if so, whats is preventing the change?

Two-Thirds of Android Antivirus Apps Are Total BS

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Tom's Guide: Austrian antivirus-testing lab AV-Comparatives tested 250 antivirus apps in Google Play against 2,000 malware samples. They found that only 80 of the apps could stop even a minimal amount of malware. "Less than one in 10 of the apps tested defended against all 2,000 malicious apps, while over two-thirds failed to reach a block rate of even 30 percent," the lab said in a press release. To make sure you're protecting your Android device properly, stick to apps from well-known antivirus companies. Basically, AV-Comparatives said, most Android antivirus apps are phony, and many of them seemed to have been created only to display ads or promote a developer's career. "The main purpose of these apps seems to be generating easy revenue for their developers, rather than actually protecting their users," the AV-Comparatives report said.

the Google Play app store

By FudRucker • Score: 3 • Thread
is a shithole of junkware, anything good is buried under a thousands of shitware that is not worth bothering to download, Google should be ashamed of Google Play for allowing it to become just a HUGE pile of shitware

In what way were any good?

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I am highly suspicious there is even a single AV app that is of any use, even if not actively harmful.

Re:In what way were any good?

By ctilsie242 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I don't understand how AV can be of use on a phone, unless it was running as root. If it is running as just another unprivileged UID, it isn't going to do much.

AV on computers may be justified to tick off checkboxes. On phones with mobile operating systems, the real security needs to be at the app stores.

I wish Google could do a two tier security model:

Tier 1 -- default tier, all apps are curated, scanned by Google's AI for potential mischief, and for an app developer to have an app in Tier 1, they must agree to more stringent requirements, and are put on notice that it doesn't take much for them to have their app chucked from the tier. This is what Amazon does with their Android app store.

Tier 2 -- This is what would be the present state of the Google Play Store.

From here, phones should default to only allow Tier 1, and just like sideloading, tell the user that they don't just walk into Mordor if they want to use Tier 2.

This way, there can be a wide variety of apps, but users have a trustworthy source that is actively curated, and where there is zero mercy shown for developer shenanigans.

Viruses not the problem

By The Evil Atheist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Viruses haven't been a problem for a long time. Not when apps keep asking for permissions for things they shouldn't need, and trick/confuse the user into volunteering their personal data.

How to avoid neednig AV products on Android

By DrXym • Score: 3 • Thread
Don't download warez or other questionable software onto your phone, you idiots.

Vizio Wants Next-Generation Smart TVs To Target Ads To Households

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Smart TV manufacturer Vizio has formed a partnership with nine media and advertising companies to develop an industry standard that will allow smart TVs to target advertisements to specific households, the companies said this week. From a report: The consortium includes major TV networks like Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal and CBS, as well as advertising technology companies like AT&T's Xandr. Addressable advertising, or targeting viewers on the household level based on their interests, has long been the goal of TV marketers. But TVs lack cookies that internet browsers use to allow ads to follow people around the web. [...] The consortium of companies, dubbed Project OAR, or Open Addressable Ready, hopes to define the technical standards for TV programmers and platforms to deliver addressable advertising on smart TVs, which are WiFi-enabled TVs with apps for services like Netflix Inc and Hulu, by the end of this year, McAfee said. Further reading: In January this year, Bill Baxter, chief technology officer of Vizio, spoke about business of data collection in an interview. He said: It's about post-purchase monetization of the TV. This is a cutthroat industry. It's a 6-percent margin industry, right? I mean, you know it's pretty ruthless. You could say it's self-inflicted, or you could say there's a greater strategy going on here, and there is. The greater strategy is I really don't need to make money off of the TV. I need to cover my cost. And then I need to make money off those TVs. They live in households for 6.9 years -- the average lifetime of a Vizio TV is 6.9 years. You would probably be amazed at the number of people come up to me saying, "I love Vizio TVs, I have one" and it's 11 years old. I'm like, "Dude, that's not even full HD, that's 720p." But they do last a long time and our strategy -- you've seen this with all of our software upgrades including AirPlay 2 and HomeKit -- is that we want to make things backward compatible to those TVs. So we're continuing to invest in those older TVs to bring them up to feature level comparison with the new TVs when there's no hardware limitation that would otherwise prevent that.

About advertisers

By MrKaos • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

For anyone who is interested the modern advertising industry is the brain child of one Edward Bernays who deceived women into thinking that smoking was a sign of their freedom.

I highly recommend a documentary called Century of the Self for anyone who want to see just how we got into the situation we are in now.

For all of the things that a human beings time gets wasted on, advertising has to be the most offensive.

I guess I'm on my last TV

By ahodgson • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If this is the way the industry's going, fuck'em.

My nearly 4 year old vi\zio tv had 2 things going

By bobstreo • Score: 3 • Thread

for it.

  I) It was cheap at the time and my previous dumb TV had died

2) It was dumb as dirt. HDMI ports with some CEC support.

If this one goes, I'll probably buy a smart tv (since there aren't any choices) and toss a streaming device on it like an android TV box. Netflix, and kodi support are pretty much all I use, with the occasional chromecast from my computer. If the streaming device dies or needs to be replaced, it's usually less than $100.

No smart TV will have any access to any Internet access. If they start putting 4G/5G sim cards in their devices, I'll be removing them as well.

If the current prices aren't sufficient to support Vizio's profit model, they may want to rethink their business.


By schwit1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Then you send it back for a refund.

No "Smart TV" for me until ...

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 3 • Thread

No "Smart TV" for me until I can replace its entire software/firmware load with an open-source alternative.

My family's TV watching (mostly CDs of old movies) is done using a NTSC CRT TV fed with analog video.

Google Builds Circuit to Solve One of Quantum Computing's Biggest Problems

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Researchers at Google, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of California Santa Barbara has solved one of the biggest limitations with quantum computing: all the control and readout circuits of quantum computer systems must be at room temperature, while their superconducting qubits live in a cryogenic enclosure at less than 1 kelvin. "For today's sub-100-qubit systems, there's enough space for specialized RF cabling to come in and out of the enclosure," reports IEEE Spectrum. "But to scale up to the million-qubit systems needed to do really cool stuff, there just won't be enough room."

At the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco last month, the researchers reported making a key control circuit in CMOS that will work at cryogenic temperatures. They described it as "a high-performance, low-power pulse modulator needed to program the qubits." From the report: "The current approach is OK for now," says Joseph Bardin, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst associate professor of electrical and computer engineering who designed the IC while on sabbatical at Google. "But it's not scalable to a million qubits." For Google's 72-qubit quantum processor there are already 168 coaxial cables going into the refrigerator and connecting to the 10-millikelvin quantum processor. The pulse modulator IC Bardin worked on is used to encode quantum states on a qubit in order to execute a program. Quantum computers get their parallelizing power because qubits don't have to be just 0 or 1, like the bits in an ordinary computer. Instead, they can be a mix of those states. The pulse modulator uses a specific set of RF frequencies to produce that mix.

"The biggest challenge is heat dissipation," explains Bardin. The qubits are at 10 millikelvins, but the control circuits, which necessarily throw off heat, can't be held that low. The researchers aimed for 4 K for the control IC. "However, at 4 K, thermodynamics limits the efficiency of cooling. The best you're going to get is about 1 percent efficiency. In practice it's worse." So the power dissipated by the electronics per qubit had to be only in the milliwatt range. That power constraint had to be balanced with the need for control accuracy, Bardin says. This was complicated by how differently CMOS transistors behave at 4 k, which is a more than 200 degrees below what silicon foundries' simulation models can deal with. Bardin and the Google team managed to design the IC in a way that compensates for these problems and achieves the balance between power consumption and performance. The resulting IC consumed less than 2 mW, yet it was able to put a qubit through its paces in testing.


By rmdingler • Score: 3 • Thread
The answer lies in the assumption that the control readout needs to be at room temperature to satisfy some human need to be present when robotic representation makes infinitely more sense.

Naw, just came here to post this.


By Orgasmatron • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Ordinarily, the electronics to set the state of a qubit are external to the cryogenic chamber that houses the device, and the state is fed in through coaxial cables. They made a version that can reside inside the cryogenic chamber.

External programming wasn't ever going to scale up. Even if they managed to get it down to 1 cable per qubit, that wasn't going to scale either.

Since I mostly follow the software side of quantum computing, I was expecting something entirely different. There is a quantum algorithm that can "solve" any problem that can be presented as a reversible circuit. What this article is talking about isn't a circuit in that sense, and it isn't a problem in that sense, and it hasn't been solved in that sense.

In my mind, this is more of a "device" which is in line with the terminology we use for other specialized CMOS structures. And it is more like "overcoming an engineering hurdle" than "solving one of QC's biggest problems".

But still quite impressive.

Not the source of the speedup

By Ignatius • Score: 3 • Thread

> Quantum computers get their parallelizing power because qubits don't have to be just 0 or 1, like the bits in an ordinary computer.

Not at all. This is a trivial property a quantum computer shares with any analog computer (quantum or not). They get their power from the fact, that the state spaces of interacting quantum subsystems combine with the tensor product (dimensions multiply) and not with the outer product (dimensions add), like classical systems do.

One qubit (ignoring phase and normalization) can be described by 2 complex numbers. 10 isolated qubits which only interact by classical signals form a product state which can be described by 2*10 = 20 complex numbers. But the state of 10 qubits entangled qubits (i.e. qubits which have interacted quantum mechanically in a non trivial way) needs 2^10 = 1024 complex numbers.

A measurement still only gives 10 classical bits of information, however, so the art is to manipulate the state such that interesting values get high and "dull" values get low probability.


North Korea Advertises Military Hardware On Twitter and YouTube, Defying Sanctions

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
eatmorekix shares a report from Motherboard: Glocom, a front company for the government of North Korea that sells sanctioned equipment, isn't giving up. In 2017, before YouTube quietly removed Glocom's channel, the company was advertising missile navigation and other military products on the video platform. But Glocom has returned. It setup a new channel, and also had a presence on Twitter, until Motherboard flagged Glocom's accounts to social media companies. The news not only signals the perseverance of parts of the North Korean's money-making enterprises, but also a slice of the content moderation issues that tech platforms constantly face. Glocom "is using them as platforms to market sanctions violating products," Shea Cotton, research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and who has a particular focus on North Korea, told Motherboard in an email. A United Nations report says that Glocom is run by North Korean intelligence agents, even though it pitches itself as a Malaysian company.

Cotton said "this company continues to operate openly. Most DPRK [Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea] fronts, when exposed, usually fold or at the very least shut down and move their operations to another country and re-open under a new name. This one hasn't done that. We've seen them try to create this spin off brand called 'FACOM' and sell a few of their products under it but as you've seen their main brand is still thriving apparently."

who is buying?

By phantomfive • Score: 3 • Thread
Sanctions make it illegal to buy from them, but they don't make it illegal for them to try to sell. The real question is, who is buying all that hardware?

Looks like Trump's little buddy is a busy boy

By Miles_O'Toole • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Short of waving his pecker in Donald Trump's face, is there anything more blatant Kim Jong Un could to to show the US he will do whatever he likes, and because he has nukes, there's sweet FA the US can do about it?

Google Hardware Makes Cuts To Laptop and Tablet Development, Cancels Products

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A report from Business Insider claims that Google has axed "dozens" of employees from its laptop and tablet division. BI's sources describe the move as "roadmap cutbacks" and also say that Google will likely "pare down the portfolio" in the future. Google's Hardware division is run by Rick Osterloh and is expected to launch a game streaming console later this month. The division is responsible for the Pixel phones, Google Home speakers, the Chromecast, Google Wi-Fi, and lately, the Nest smart home division.

You could also call the "laptop and tablet" division the "Chrome OS" division. Both the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate ran Chrome OS, and they are the company's only products supporting that operating system. Is Chrome OS going to be OK? BI notes that manufacturing roles in the hardware division haven't changed, so in the short-term, Google's product lineup is likely to keep going. The report says that Google had "a bunch of stuff in the works" that now probably won't see the light of day. The move comes after the group received pressure to turn Google Hardware into "a real business" from higher-ups at Google/Alphabet. It's easy to imagine that the laptops and tablets -- which are Google Hardware's most expensive products -- were selling the worst.

Random guess

By holophrastic • Score: 3 • Thread

Microsoft adopts Chrome software, maybe Google's adopting Surface hardware?

Maybe sell more affordable gear?

By shess • Score: 3 • Thread

While at Google, working on Chrome team, we could get a Chromebook Pixel (the original ones) to use and "eat the dogfood". Lovely device, even when it was like four year old, so when I left I set out to replace it. I ended up with an Asus Chromebook Flip C302A, the second option was a Samsung Chromebook Pro. Why not a newer Chromebook Pixel or Pixelbook? Because they cost 2x as much for minimal advantage.

Do I wish I had 8GB of RAM? Sure! But 8GB of RAM runs around $60. If they had had an offering in the $600 range, or maybe $700, I'd have probably went for it.

Unfortunately, they have the last laugh, since Apple has decided to cripple their laptop keyboard and port arrays, so now I find myself with Windows laptops in the house. Sigh.

An ad company

By AHuxley • Score: 3 • Thread
is all about the ads.

Attention deficit

By Tough Love • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Attention deficit disorder. Google seems to have lost the ability to see any project through from beginning to end. I look forward to the Google console fiasco, should be about as popular as Google+ given the depth to which Google Smart People[tm] tend to understand or care about actual people.

Since they can't get the BT controller on the

By johnwfran • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Pixelbook or Pixel Slate to work reliably (more than a year for the Pixelbook), maybe hardware's not the right niche for them.

Verizon Says 5G Network Will Cost Extra $10 a Month

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Verizon said on Tuesday that it will charge an additional $10 a month per smartphone for subscribers who want to add 5G speeds to their devices, the first major U.S. carrier to disclose pricing for the faster cellular service. From a report: Verizon says it'll flip the switch next month on a much-hyped, next-generation "5G" phone network. Service will start in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis. Verizon expects to have 5G in 30 cities this year. For now, few people will sign on. The offer is available only on unlimited plans, which currently start at $75 for one person or $160 for a family of four without 5G. On family plans, each 5G line would cost $10 extra. And network access will initially work with just one phone, Motorola's Moto Z3, with a special 5G attachment. Verizon will offer some promotions at first, including discounts on the phone and attachment and the first three months of 5G service free.

ATT doesn't have to.

By myth24601 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Since ATT found a way to upgrade their system to 5G without spending money, they won't have to jack rates up. Hope all you guys who were baggin' on ATT a few weeks ago about it will shut up now!


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

5G benefits primarily the carrier, not the subscriber. The chance that you'll see any faster speeds than 4G/LTE is very slim. The carrier however gets to reap benefits from lower traffic congestion meaning that they'll be able to cram more connections on the same hardware. And make the customers pay for it.

Let me fix it for you.

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread
For a mere 10$ more, Verizon will call its current service 5G just for you.

Not excited

By maxrate • Score: 3 • Thread
I know "640k ought to be enough for anyone", but I'm happy with 4G (for the time being). Glad to see things are moving ahead with 5G, but for myself, I'm really not excited about it for some reason. No way I would spend a cent on it right now (hardware or network).

Re:Extra per month

By StikyPad • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Adding to that irony is that $10/mo is the price of an entire monthly LTE plan in many countries, including tethering, unlimited voice and text, unmetered messaging apps, etc. (albeit not unlimited data). The price of telecom service in the US and the rampant nickel-and-diming is outrageous from a consumer-centric perspective, although obviously it's outstanding from an investor perspective.

IBM, and Some Other Companies Did Not Inform People When Using Their Photos From Flickr To Train Facial Recognition Systems

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IBM and some other firms are using at least a million of images they have gleaned from Flickr to help train a facial recognition system. Although the photos in question were shared under a Creative Commons license, many users say they never imagined their images would be used in this way. Furthermore, the people shown in the images didn't consent to anything. From a report: "This is the dirty little secret of AI training sets. Researchers often just grab whatever images are available in the wild," said NYU School of Law professor Jason Schultz. The latest company to enter this territory was IBM, which in January released a collection of nearly a million photos that were taken from the photo hosting site Flickr and coded to describe the subjects' appearance. IBM promoted the collection to researchers as a progressive step toward reducing bias in facial recognition. But some of the photographers whose images were included in IBM's dataset were surprised and disconcerted when NBC News told them that their photographs had been annotated with details including facial geometry and skin tone and may be used to develop facial recognition algorithms. (NBC News obtained IBM's dataset from a source after the company declined to share it, saying it could be used only by academic or corporate research groups.)

"None of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way," said Greg Peverill-Conti, a Boston-based public relations executive who has more than 700 photos in IBM's collection, known as a "training dataset." "It seems a little sketchy that IBM can use these pictures without saying anything to anybody," he said. John Smith, who oversees AI research at IBM, said that the company was committed to "protecting the privacy of individuals" and "will work with anyone who requests a URL to be removed from the dataset." Despite IBM's assurances that Flickr users can opt out of the database, NBC News discovered that it's almost impossible to get photos removed. IBM requires photographers to email links to photos they want removed, but the company has not publicly shared the list of Flickr users and photos included in the dataset, so there is no easy way of finding out whose photos are included. IBM did not respond to questions about this process.


By viperidaenz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

“It seems a little sketchy that IBM can use these pictures without saying anything to anybody,” he said.

It seems a little sketchy than this photographer didn't explain to the subjects that he was going to post their image online with a licence that allows anyone to do anything with it for any reason.

Why creative commons?

By Gavagai80 • Score: 3 • Thread

The fact that they only used creative commons images suggests there's an actual legal issue with proprietary images, but why? If I save an image from a website to my hard drive, without sharing it, does that make me a criminal? I've been training my brain on face recognition with proprietary images for decades. I've even occasionally indirectly made money from the viewing of proprietary images, as has everyone else.

Should I pay a royalty every time I imagine a proprietary image I've previously seen?

Re:Which brand of Creative Commons license?

By DickBreath • Score: 4 • Thread
> They'll go nuts again tomorrow.

Uh, No.

They stay nuts continuously. You just notice it again tomorrow. But they were nuts the entire time. So they don't go nuts again. They are nuts still.

No sympathy from me

By Rick Zeman • Score: 3 • Thread

""None of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way," said Greg Peverill-Conti, a Boston-based public relations executive who has more than 700 photos in IBM's collection, known as a "training dataset." "

Why are you whining? YOU explicitly made that possible. YOU had to elect for each image to be licensed under CC. If the people you photographed are upset by this, they should sue YOU.

It's not that simple

By mrwireless • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Almost all responses here are along the lines of "what did you expect". But it's not that simple.

If I go up to a window in your house and photograph the inside, you don't say "well, I have no problem with that, the windows are transparent after all".

Saying "it's technically possible, so of course someone did it" makes you no better than databrokers like Cambridge Analytica who create psychological profiles based on your Facebook likes and then sell them to, well, anyone really.

Is it technically possible? Yes. Was it something the average user could have anticipated when they pressed the "I agree" button? No.

This is about norms and values. Privacy is a form of "contextual integrity". We have expectation of how much we will get for different situations. People have similar expectations online.

Google Launches Android Q Beta 1

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google said today it is rolling out the first beta version of Android Q, the newest version of its mobile operating system. The company will roll out a stable version of Android Q later this year. From a report: The first beta includes a preview SDK for developers with system images for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and the official Android Emulator. This is the fourth year running that Google has released the first developer preview of the next Android version in March -- Android N (later named Android Nougat), Android O (Android Oreo), and Android P (Android Pie). For the past two years, Google did not use the Android Beta Program, which lets you get early Android builds via over-their-air updates on select devices.

That changes with Android Q -- Google is making the first preview available as a beta, not just as a developer preview. That signals that it is ready for early adopters to try, in addition to developers. As before, this preview version will be referred to as Android Q until Google picks a name starting with that letter.

Twitter Teases Hiding 'Likes' and 'Retweets' Counts, Color-Coded Replies in Biggest Set of Changes To Its Social Media Service Since it Launched in 2006

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Twitter is teasing some of the biggest changes to its social media service since it first launched in 2006, aiming to make good on the company's promise to promote "healthy conversation." From a report: The company is also introducing new features to enhance pictures and video on the app in an effort to encourage users to make more use of the cameras on their smartphones, a move that adds features similar to those found on the apps of some of its main competition: Instagram and Snapchat. "We've really intentionally tried to make the images and footage that are captured on the ground at an event look different than other images and videos that you might attach to a tweet," said Keith Coleman, Twitter's head of consumer product. On Tuesday, the company offered the public its first look at a new prototype for the Twitter app, which the company is calling "twttr" in a nod to CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey's first tweet, that includes a variety of changes to how Twitter looks and operates, centered on a new format for conversations and color-coded replies. The prototype also removes the engagement counts showing the number of retweets or "likes" a tweet receives. This change is designed to make Twitter a little friendlier.

But how will people track ratios?

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Seems like it will take a lot of the (remaining) fun from Twitter, not being able to see the ratio of likes to comments...

I can't see a good case to hide either. Seeing how much something is liked can be really inspiring for some meaningful or heartwarming tweet (yes there are such things).

Similarly, seeing reply count is kind of nice as a metric of, should I even bother to reply, or read responses?

Seems like all changes are made to fight content Twitter dislikes. But all it ever does is make things worse for good content, and for Twitter usability...

Alternate Headline: Twitter Steps Up MiniTrue

By Elias Israel • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
With this change, Twitter is doubling down on removing content they don't agree with and making it harder to see when dumb comments from their anointed "blue checks" are being ratio'd into oblivion. "Conform or be cast out."

Hide more!

By duke_cheetah2003 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

How about hiding tweets, and adverts too?

How glorious would it be if Twitter was just a blank page?

It is what you want it to be.

By sheramil • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"In order to build a perfect society, you need perfect citizens." - Shirow Masamune, "Appleseed"

Twitter is a mirror. When a monkey looks in, no philosopher looks out.

America's Latest Effort To Thwart the Growth of China's Huawei is Playing Out Beneath the World's Oceans

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A new front has opened in the battle between the U.S. and China over control of global networks that deliver the internet. This one is beneath the ocean. [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; syndicated source.] From a report: While the U.S. wages a high-profile campaign to exclude China's Huawei from next-generation mobile networks over fears of espionage, the company is embedding itself into undersea cable networks that ferry nearly all of the world's internet data. About 380 active submarine cables -- bundles of fiber-optic lines that travel oceans on the seabed -- carry about 95% of intercontinental voice and data traffic, making them critical for the economies and national security of most countries. Current and former security officials in the U.S. and allied governments now worry that these cables are increasingly vulnerable to espionage or attack and say the involvement of Huawei potentially enhances China's capabilities.

Huawei denies any threat. The U.S. hasn't publicly provided evidence of its claims that Huawei technology poses a cybersecurity risk. Its efforts to persuade other countries to sideline the company's communication technology have been met with skepticism by some. Huawei Marine Networks, majority owned by the Chinese telecom giant, completed a 3,750-mile cable between Brazil and Cameroon in September. It recently started work on a 7,500-mile cable connecting Europe, Asia and Africa and is finishing up links across the Gulf of California in Mexico. Altogether, the company has worked on some 90 projects to build or upgrade seabed fiber-optic links, gaining fast on the three U.S., European and Japanese firms that dominate the industry. These officials say the company's knowledge of and access to undersea cables could allow China to attach devices that divert or monitor data traffic -- or, in a conflict, to sever links to entire nations.


By Maelwryth • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Look, this whole Huawei is selling equipment that can be used to spy would be very simply solved if the U.S. would show some proof. If they can't do that then they are either lying, aren't technologically able too or haven't been able too because Huawei can come straight back with U.S. equipment and show how it is being used to spy. Since 9/11 the U.S. has been a political disaster on the world stage and they just aren't trusted anymore. Not even by their allies.


By CohibaVancouver • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If they can't do that then they are either lying, aren't technologically able too or haven't been able too because Huawei can come straight back with U.S. equipment and show how it is being used to spy.

You missed a key - And likely most the important - Reason that the USA can't "prove it." Doing so will likely damage existing intelligence gathering operations and/or put intelligence operatives in harm's way.

If the USA has an intelligence asset inside Huawei then revealing their proof might harm that asset.

Things are further complicated by the fact that the White House doesn't keep secrets very well, so the intelligence services are likely hesitant to reveal their sources.

You mean like the US did ?

By aepervius • Score: 3 • Thread
"These officials say the company's knowledge of and access to undersea cables could allow China to attach devices that divert or monitor data traffic -- or, in a conflict, to sever links to entire nations" you know in the past 2 years it has been ... funny(?) to see the US accuse Huawei and china to prepare to do, or do, what they themselves did in the past.

Re:It depends on your viewpoint...

By Solandri • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I know US submariners that have talked vaguely about high tech cable-tapping missions since the 1990s.

1990s LOL. The U.S. built a nuclear powered deep-water submarine in the 1960s specifically to tap underwater communications cables. It was used publicly to recover parts from airliner crashes and shipwrecks from the ocean floor. But it's obvious from its capabilities (multi-week loiter capability with manipulator arms) that it was made for tapping undersea cables. The fact that they built the ultimate underwater cable tapping machine in the 1960s tells you they were playing around with tapping the cables for at least decades prior. The fact that they retired it in 2008 should make you think about what shiny new toys they have now for doing the same thing.

So it's not so much a "OMG they're vulnerable" as "crap those guys can perhaps do it now too" thing.,

That's exactly it. The U.S. has been doing this for decades, so it's actually in the best position to know what the vulnerabilities and technical challenges are. And despite the general anti-U.S. sentiment among western countries, their interests align much more closely with the U.S.' interests than with China's. So if the U.S. is going so far as to warn its allies about the threat, it's a pretty good bet that there's really something to this.

Hence the interest in satellite Internet

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 3 • Thread

Although undersea cables could offer shorter data paths and lower latency than even mid-orbit satellite, using our new low-cost access to orbit to set up a large constellation would be a valuable hedge against loss of cable access.

Facebook is Down

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook, the world's largest social networking website, is down for many, users say. Third-party web monitoring tool DownDetector corroborates the claim, adding that more than 11,000 people have reported issues with accessing Facebook in the last 30 minutes or so.

Facebook's outage means social buttons and other Facebook functionalities that are embedded all over the web are also facing issue. Update: Instagram appears to be down, too, for some users.

Update 2: In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said, "We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

Re:First Against the Wall

By Luthair • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes," with a footnote to the effect that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking over the post of robotics correspondent.

Re:And the world....

By eth1 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread temporarily a BETTER place for it!!


Going to be a lot of December babies this year...

For everyone posting "Good"...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

...realize that there are around 750,000,000 people who care WAY more about this than the number of people who care if Slashdot goes down.

You can laugh, sneer, and make so-called witty comments, but you're in the minority. Compared to Facebook, Slashdot is nugatory.

More to the point, where is any kind of technical analysis or discussion? The total abandonment of any actual technical commentary in favor of childish rhetoric is why I years ago stopped logging in to my >20 year old /. account, and barely come here any more.

"He stopped loading Slashdot, when it had changed so much that there was no longer anything of value to be lost."

Re:And the world....

By cayenne8 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You trying to tell me the onslaught of anonymous trolls on here makes for a better social experience?

Well, I've never actually considered Slashdot to be a 'social' site really.....not in the context of the commonly thought of 'social media' of today.


By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

Obligatory "...and nothing of value was lost" statement.

Tim Berners-Lee Talks About India's Recent Push To Data Localization, Proposed Compromise of End-to-End Encryption, and Frequent Internet Shutdowns

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On the occasion of the web's 30th anniversary, its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, has given some interviews and shared his thoughts on some challenges that the web faces today. He spoke with Medianama, an Indian outlet, on some of the relatively unique challenges that the government over there has been pushing lately. Some of these challenges include government's push to have Silicon Valley companies store data of Indians in India itself; a nudge to WhatsApp to put an end to its encryption (On a side note: The Australian government recently passed a law to do this exact thing); and frequent shutdowns in the nation.

On data localisation and data as a national resource : That's one of the things that the Web Foundation has always been concerned about: the balkanisation of the Internet. If you want to balkanise it, that's a pretty darn effective way of doing it. If you say that Indian people's data can't be stored outside India, that means that when you start a social network which will be accessed by people all over the world, that means that you will have to start 152 different companies all over the world. It's a barrier to entry. Facebook can do that. Google can do that.

When an Indian company does it, and you'll end up with an Indian company that serves only Indian users. When people go abroad, they won't be able to keep track of their friends at home. The whole wonderful open web of knowledge, academic and political discussions would be divided into country groups and cultural groups, so there will be a massive loss of richness to the web.

Both sides of the mouth

By ptaff • Score: 3 • Thread

From the moment Berners-Lee endorsed DRM in HTML, it was clear to me that he had lost all relevance forever.

Data Localization

By Luthair • Score: 3 • Thread
I feel like his comment about data localization misses the purpose - the whole purpose is to ensure it is subject to local laws, not foreign powers.

Scale works in India's favor

By ghoul • Score: 3 • Thread

India has 1.3 billion population with a 300 million middle class with internet access. US population is 300 million with the number of internet users definitely less than that.
So if we talk about balkanization its not Indian companies who will have problems of inadequate scale.
China has already shown that a incountry internet can provide most of the social networks people need. They operate perfectly well without Google or Facebook.
US companies need to be queueing up and jumping through hoops to keep the Indian govt happy for that is where their next growth is coming from.
India has enough home grown tech talent (heck most US companies depend on Indian tech talent) that if India went for a home grown internet ecosystem Indian people would not miss anything but the US tech sector would have huge growth problems. All inflated VC valuations based on hockey stick growth would go for a toss.

Bring back real decentralisation

By grumpy-cowboy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'm in the process of moving out all "mass social networks/surveillance" (FB, Twitter, Google, ...) off my personal life. I pay Fastmail to host my own email domain (I don't want to maintain an email server). I'm going to be part of the Fediverse. I have an hosted VPS where I'm about to install my Matrix node, my ActivityPub servers (Mastodon, Pleroma, PeerTube, PixlFeed, ...)... I'll host MY data and share what I want with who I want.

I know not everyone can do it but you can use one of many nodes available and create an account on it. There is thousands of it built by community interest : developers, art, music, (left | right | top | bottom) wings politics, family groups, ... If you don't want to host yourself, you have choice.

HP Recalls More Laptops For 'Fire and Burn Hazards'

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The US Product and Safety Commission just announced HP's "battery safety" recall of about 78,500 laptops for what the UPSC calls "fire and burn hazards." From a report: HP initiated the recall in January 2018, and expanded it in January 2019, but the news hadn't widely circulated because of the US government shutdown -- the UPSC finally posted the news to its site on Tuesday with the explanation "NOTE: This recall expansion was previously announced independently on January 17, 2019 by the firm due to US government furlough." This is part of a continuing series of battery recalls from HP. The January 28 recall was for about 51,000 models, but 41,000 were recalled in June 2016 and 100,000 in January 2017, bringing the total for the past 2.5 years to almost a quarter of a million.

Am I affected?

By Artem S. Tashkinov • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Look no further: HP Notebook Computer and Mobile Workstation Battery Safety Recall and Replacement Program

WTF is a UPSC?

By drinkypoo • Score: 3 • Thread

There's no UPSC, it's the US CPSC. HTH, HAND.

Google Quietly Adds DuckDuckGo as a Search Engine Option for Chrome Users in About 60 Markets

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: In an update to the chromium engine, which underpins Google's popular Chrome browser, the search giant has quietly updated the lists of default search engines it offers per market -- expanding the choice of search product users can pick from in markets around the world. Most notably it's expanded search engine lists to include pro-privacy rivals in more than 60 markets globally. The changes, which appear to have been pushed out with the Chromium 73 stable release yesterday, come at a time when Google is facing rising privacy and antitrust scrutiny and accusations of market distorting behavior at home and abroad.

I'd like to use duckduckgo but...

By QuietLagoon • Score: 3 • Thread
... it seems to purchase crawler data from other search engines, and the data is not as complete as the data google uses. Specifically, does duckduckgo purchase crawler data from bing? I see similar gaps in the results returned by bing and duckduckgo. Does duckduckgo have its own crawler?

If it isn't on duckduckgo

By p51d007 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I probably don't want to "find" it anyway.

Re: It's not that surprising

By jouassou • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
You're both right. They have their own crawler, but also source results from ~400 other sites, including e.g. Bing, Wikipedia, and WolframAlpha.

Re:It's not that surprising

By Straumli Perversion • Score: 4, Informative • Thread You can get google results by adding !g to your search (or !sp if you want to get google results through

Re:It's not that surprising

By cordovaCon83 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Please refer to this link. I don't see what the big deal is though - I use DuckDuckGo because they don't share my information with their partners. I could care less if they aggregrate their search results from many different sources.

Microsoft Now Lets You Stream PC Games To an Xbox One and Use a Controller

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Microsoft is now letting Xbox One owners stream their PC games to the console and use a controller to play them. From a report: A newly updated app, Wireless Display app, from Microsoft enables the support so you can play Steam games or other titles directly on an Xbox One. You can use a regular Xbox controller to control the remote PC, enabling game play or even the ability to use an Xbox for presentations. Microsoft's Wireless Display app uses Miracast to create a connection between a PC and the Xbox One, and you can cast to the Xbox using the winkey + P combination. There are different latency modes for gaming and watching videos from a remote PC, and the app is ideal if you want to project a stream or video onto the Xbox. You won't be able to stream protected content like Netflix, though.

I don't know what to say...

By Kokuyo • Score: 3 • Thread

...except why?

Few people have a TV that is really good for gaming in the first place and you can use Xbox controllers on a PC.

What is this good for?

As for streaming content, how about allowing a Plex and Kodi app to run directly on the xbox?

Perhaps I'm missing something but this seems to solving an issue I have trouble imagining many people to actually have.

Re: I just don't get it

By tysonedwards • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Yes, some people live in houses, and have their computers set up in offices in another room from their living room. And sometimes those people with houses also like to play games in their living room. And sometimes they would like to play a game in their bedroom. And punching holes in walls to run a hundred feet of HDMI cables, including sometimes breaking out a drill to go through studs is... Difficult. So, having something like Steam Link or this MS branded miracast app makes things easier for someone who would otherwise need to buy three computers so they can play games how they'd want.

Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple With the European Commission Over 30% Tax and Restrictive Rules

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Spotify today filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators against Apple, saying the iPhone maker unfairly limits rivals to its own Apple Music streaming service. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek writes in a blog post: In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience -- essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we're now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition. Apple operates a platform that, for over a billion people around the world, is the gateway to the internet. Apple is both the owner of the iOS platform and the App Store -- and a competitor to services like Spotify. In theory, this is fine. But in Apple's case, they continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn.

To illustrate what I mean, let me share a few examples. Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn't something we can do. As an alternative, if we choose not to use Apple's payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify.

For example, they limit our communication with our customers -- including our outreach beyond the app. In some cases, we aren't even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple. Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades. Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch. We aren't seeking special treatment. We simply want the same treatment as numerous other apps on the App Store, like Uber or Deliveroo, who aren't subject to the Apple tax and therefore don't have the same restrictions.

Re:There is no 30% tax

By ilsaloving • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So apparently you missed the part, in the summary no less, that Apple places technical restrictions in your app if you don't go through their payment system?

Apple Music doesn't have to take a 30% hit to run on an iOS. Apple apps get additional benefits and integration that no other competitor is allowed to achieve even if they follow the rules.

This is pure anti-competitive behaviour, pure and simple. They were able to get away with this before when they were too insignificant to be worth bothering with. Apple is now a serious player and shouldn't be allowed to get away with these shenanigans anymore.

doesn't this so called Apple tax

By doginthewoods • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
include payments to the people who wrote and played the songs? Spotify, being yet another business that doesn't want to pay for the music, really should shut up about this. At least Apple pays something that isn't so meager as to be an insult.


By chiefcrash • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Apple makes a phone and sells music services on it.

Spotify could make a phone and sell music services on it too. But instead, it wants to JUST sell its music services, and ride on the coattails of someone else who bothers to make the hardware to make that possible.

On a related note...Spotify of course doesn't make the music either. It is just a middle man. It wants to connector creators and consumers, and charge a Spotify tax to SOMEBODY (either users who pay, or advertise), to make use of its marketplace. Sound familiar?

Microsoft makes an operating system and gives away a web browser with it. Netscape could make a computer operating system and give away web browsers too. But instead, it wants to JUST give away its web browser, and ride on the coattails of someone else who bothers to make the operating system to make that possible...

On a related note.... Netscape of course doesn't make the websites either. It is just a middle man...

Sound familiar?


By DRJlaw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Apple makes a phone and sells music services on it.

Spotify could make a phone and sell music services on it too. But instead, it wants to JUST sell its music services, and ride on the coattails of someone else who bothers to make the hardware to make that possible.

That's a bit of revisionist history.

Apple makes a phone and launches a store that is the only way for non-enterprise, non-developer customers to load software upon it. Apple invites essentially all comers to the store, which is governed by generally applicable rules. It's 2007.

Spotify launches a music service and an app through the Apple store. It's 2008. Apple sells music services -- through iTunes, which is automatically present on the phone -- that do not include streaming music services.

Apple launches streaming music services -- through the Music app, which is automatically present on the phone -- that includes streaming music services. It's 2015. Spotify has been in this space on this device for 7 years.

Apple's music app is not subject to the same pricing structure -- Apple simply matches the Spotify service fee without the overhead of paying itself 30% -- and is marketed by email to all Apple ID holders, something Spotify itself cannot do.

But instead, it wants to JUST sell its music services, and ride on the coattails of someone else who bothers to make the hardware to make that possible.

They were invited in. Then Apple leveraged its dominance in the platform to make special, anticompetitive rules for itself and expand into that line of business. There are terms for bodies of law that govern that. I believe that they include antitrust (U.S.) and competition law (E.U.).

On a related note...Spotify of course doesn't make the music either. It is just a middle man. It wants to connector creators and consumers, and charge a Spotify tax to SOMEBODY (either users who pay, or advertise), to make use of its marketplace. Sound familiar?

Nope - not remotely familiar. Spotify doesn't impose special rules on the content of music based whether the artist is a Spotify employee (or partner) or not. Spotify doesn't function as a creator and a connector self-interested in promoting itself to the detriment of other creators. Spotify doesn't have a fee structure that requires artists to pay it substantially more than it pays itself to distribute creations through the service.

I'm not convinced by your argument at all. European authorities will not be either.

Re:Amazon's annual fee and small order fee

By Sebby • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Just because “Amazon and Google do it too” doesn’t make it any more right.

Alphabet's AI-Powered Chrome Extension Hides Toxic Comments

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Alphabet offshoot Jigsaw is launching a Chrome extension designed to help moderate toxic comments on social media. The new open-source tool, dubbed "Tune," builds on the machine learning smarts introduced in Jigsaw's "Perspective" tech to help sites like Facebook and Twitter set the "volume" of abusive comments. Using "filter mix" controls, users can either turn toxic comments off altogether (what's known as "zen mode") or show selective types of posts containing attacks, insults, or profanity. Tune also works with Reddit, YouTube and Disqus. Jigsaw admits that Tune is still an experiment, meaning it may not spot all forms of toxicity or could hide non-offensive comments. "We're constantly working to improve the underlying technology, and users can easily give feedback right in the tool to help us improve our algorithms," C.J. Adams, Jigsaw product manager, wrote in a blog post.

Echo chamber

By DarkOx • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So the big fear is that these 'online communities' become echo chambers, that re-enforce ideas. The response of the high minded folks at Google apparently is to make sure you can take your echo chamber with you everywhere you go.

What is a toxic comment anyway. My guess is its any idea Google execs don't agree with.

Re:"Don't disturb my thought bubble!"

By lgw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Also known as the, "I'm not mature enough to have my beliefs challenged!" SNOWFLAKE mode

Or, more concisely, "rightthink mode". Soon to be mandated in China.

perfect for a democracy!

By argStyopa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm sure this won't insulate people even FURTHER into their own personalized bubbles of self-confirmatory groupthink.

Hint: in a democracy, sometimes people say shit you disagree with


Hint: Sometimes people say things that hurt your feelings. Sometimes deliberately! It's your job as a grownup to ignore them.

Re:perfect for a democracy!

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

In a free democracy no-one forces you to listen to them. The telescreen has an off button.

Re:I have mixed feelings on this.

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It is when it becomes a personal attack.

For example if you call the person stupid for their point of view, make assumptions of their education and parentage, sexual preference...

You can disagree with someone without trying to dehumanize them, and also trying to dehumanize a group of people.

In the 2016 Election Clintons biggest Faux Pas was calling Trump supporters "deplorables" because that was trolling on her end and stating "This group of people I don't care about their concerns and I will classify them as sub human" While Trump in my opinion is the bigger troll, he was playing a different game, Trumps game was to get People to Hate Clinton (Who has a lot of political baggage), while Clinton game was to make more people like her. Her statement, caused a lot of people on the fence to dislike her more then ever.

Scientists Reawaken Cells From a 28,000-Year-Old Mammoth

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Cells from a woolly mammoth that died more than 28,000 years ago have been partially reactivated inside of mouse egg cells, according to a study published Monday in Scientific Reports. "The achievement shows that biological activity can be induced in the cells of long-dead creatures, but that does not mean that scientists will be resurrecting extinct animals like mammoths any time soon," reports Motherboard. From the report: A team led by Kazuo Yamagata, a biologist at Kindai University in Japan, extracted cells from the remains of "Yuka," a young female mammoth discovered in 2010 on the coast of the Dmitry Laptev Strait in the Russian Far East. Yuka was entombed in permafrost, a frozen ground layer that can often keep the skin, fur, brains, and other softer tissues of dead animals intact. Because Yuka is in particularly great condition, Yamagata's team was able to extract 88 nucleus-like structures from her preserved muscle tissues. The mammoth cells were implanted into mouse oocytes, which are ovarian cells involved in embryonic development. The researchers also implanted elephant cells into mouse eggs to provide a control sample.

Once the cell nuclei were incubated, they seemed to reawaken -- but only slightly. The cells did not divide, but completed some steps that precede cell division. For instance, the mammoth nuclei performed a process called "spindle assembly," which ensures that chromosomes are correctly attached to microscopic spindle structures before a parent cell breaks into two daughter cells. The fact that Yuka's cells were able to spring back into partial action is both an exciting and challenging development for scientists interested in cloning extinct animals. On one hand, some degree of cellular reactivation is clearly possible. But Yuka is also an exceptionally pristine specimen, and even her cells were not able to complete cell division -- a major hurdle that scientists must clear to accomplish de-extinction.

Dr Ian Malcolm said it best

By CeasedCaring • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should..."

Re:Dr Ian Malcolm said it best

By jabuzz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If they had just built a reinforced concrete wall to separate the zones of the park and put the ride a top it on a monorail there would have been no issue.

Re:Start taking samples now

By DarkOx • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Probably because just cranking out endangered species would not really solve the problem. Most of them are endangered due to habitat destruction. Yes there are some exceptions like Wolves in North America where over hunting is to blame. There would be no point for example in release a bunch of endangered cats in Asia with no way for them to eek out a living.

It Begins

By Only Time Will Tell • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Maiya looked out wistfully over the horizon at the valley below. She leaned heavily on her walking stick carved from a mammoth shin bone and pulled back her sabertoothed tiger cowl. What changes this valley had seen over the past few decades. A few paces back, her son finally caught up with her and joined her in the view. "What was it like before they resurrected all the dinosaurs and ancient animals?" Maiya sighed heavily, eying the overgrowth that had swallowed a city that used to be called 'L.A.' She could hear in the distance the howls and screams of something fighting for its life. "Well, for one, we stepped in a lot less T-Rex shit."

Re:Jurassic Park

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No it is Holocene Park.

Radioactive Particles From Huge Solar Storm Found In Greenland

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Traces of an enormous solar storm that battered the atmosphere and showered Earth in radioactive particles more than 2,500 years ago have been discovered under the Greenland ice sheet. The Guardian reports: Scientists studying ice nearly half a kilometer beneath the surface found a band of radioactive elements unleashed by a storm that struck the planet in 660BC. It was at least 10 times more powerful than any recorded by instruments set up to detect such events in the past 70 years, and as strong as the most intense known solar storm, which hit Earth in AD775. The discovery means that the worst-case scenarios used in risk planning for serious space weather events underestimate how powerful solar storms can be.

Raimund Muscheler, a professor of quaternary sciences at Lund University in Sweden, and his team analyzed two ice cores drilled from the Greenland ice sheet and found that both contained spikes in isotopes of beryllium and chlorine that date back to about 660BC. The material appears to be the radioactive remnants of a solar storm that battered the atmosphere. The scientists calculate that the storm sent at least 10 billion protons per square centimeter into the atmosphere. "A solar proton event of such magnitude occurring in modern times could result in severe disruption of satellite-based technologies, high frequency radio communication and space-based navigation systems," they write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Re:Worst case

By sheramil • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There is currently more electronic infrastructure in place and at risk than, say, was present under the rule of King Cynewulf of Wessex.

774-775 -- same year as that supernova

By DavenH • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
What a year. From a contemporary chronicle:

A.D. 774. This year the Northumbians banished their king, Alred, from York at Easter-tide; and chose Ethelred, the son of Mull, for their lord, who reigned four winters. This year also appeared in the heavens a red crucifix, after sunset; the Mercians and the men of Kent fought at Otford; and wonderful serpents were seen in the land of the South-Saxons.